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Thick, Dense, Restaurant Style Cheesecake

by on November 4, 2009 · 23 comments

This cheesecake is adapted from a vintage back-of-the Argo cornstarch recipe. It’s been updated over the years and there’s a new version on Argo’s web site, but this seems to be the recipe people love because I kept seeing requests for it on lost recipe forums.  It had been in my files forever and I’d been waiting for an excuse to try it.  Last night my dad came over for dinner, so I had one.


I started the cheesecake early in the day and it came together in minutes thanks to my trusty food processor.  Another bonus was that  I didn’t have to deal with making a crust.  As someone who actually likes a good graham cracker crust, my worries that we would miss it were put to rest by the grandness of the finished product. In this case the loose, thin layer of graham cracker crumbs was more than adequate.

The cake is not baked in a water bath and it’s not what I’d call creamy. This is one of those dense, silky, thick cheesecakes you’d find at a good steakhouse. The flavor is better than most because along with hint of lemon and vanilla, you get the tart from the sour cream and a little butter flavor to round it all out. As for the topping, I fully intended to make Argo’s strawberry recipe (below), but the strawberries at H.E.B. did not look so good yesterday and were double the price as usual. You can use any topping you want, but plan on having one because this cheesecake will probably crack.



Thick, Dense, Restaurant Style Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An old recipe from the Argo cornstarch box
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 lb. cottage cheese (not low fat)
  • 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 oz salted butter or 4 oz unsalted plus 3/8 tsp salt, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups regular sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Strawberry Topping
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup crushed strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (approximately) nice looking whole strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round springform pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over bottom.
  2. Combine egg and cottage cheese in blender or food processor and process until smooth. Gradually blend in cream cheese. Put mixture in a bowl and whisk in the sugar, melted butter, cornstarch, sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan and bake on center rack for 1 hour 15 minutes or until edge is firm. Turn off oven. Let cheesecake stand in oven one exactly hour to cool. Remove from pan and let sit at room temperature for a while. When it's cool, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours. Cheesecakes are usually better on day 2, so you could make this ahead of time. Top with strawberry topping below or topping of your choice.
  3. Topping: Combine cornstarch, water, corn syrup and crushed strawberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Strain. Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Arrange whole (or you can slice them) fresh strawberries over top of cheesecake. Cover strawberries with the glaze.
  4. Serves 12-16

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Published on November 4, 2009

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina November 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm

You picked the right topping for our house anyway! For once, Kevin would love this! Too bad there isn’t one here for him to enjoy. ;(

Chris Mower November 4, 2009 at 1:01 pm

I’m pretty open to most cheesecake toppings. My favorites are 1) Cherry, 2) Blackberry, 3) Raspberry, and then 4) strawberry. When I’m in a hurry I sometimes buy the pre-made gc crust for these types of things, and I usually have pretty good luck with those. We just finished off a pumpkin cheesecake at my house, but it looks like I might have to make another from this recipe here.

Kelly November 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Looks insanely rich. Yum. I personally would rather have cherries over strawberries.

Todd November 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I had this for breakfast this morning, and it was fantastic.

Therese B. November 4, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I just licked the screen.

Louise November 4, 2009 at 1:55 pm

My husband would glare at me if I ate that for breakfast. :-(

dawn November 4, 2009 at 2:01 pm

man that is thick!!

Carole Resnick November 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Another winner, Anna. Blackberry or peach topping for me.

LilSis November 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm

This cheesecake looks so good; I love the cherries and I love that it doesn’t have a crust! I’m saving this recipe for a special occasion!

Suzy November 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I love how you bring out all the stops when your dad comes over. I always know it’s going to be a knockout dessert when pa is in the house!!

Lauren November 4, 2009 at 6:10 pm

HEB? I go to HEB. Sometimes. Usually the commissary. Don’t usually hear the name on a blog.

CakeSpy November 4, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Lucky Todd (above)!

I don’t eat cheesecake often, but when I do I like a SERIOUS one. And this looks pretty hardcore. I mean that in a very positive way.

Mary M November 4, 2009 at 6:37 pm

MMMMM…looks scrumptious! Only problem is, I’d have to eat the whole thing myself! Oh! Is that really a problem??!!!

Juli November 4, 2009 at 6:57 pm

If I wanted to make this a pumpkin cheesecake, could I use canned pumpkin in place of the cottage cheese and get the same texture?

Anna November 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Juli, I wouldn’t play around with this recipe. It might be better to just find a really good pumpkin cheesecake recipe. There are a bunch out there.

Juli November 4, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Thanks, Anna. I really liked the dense texture of this cheesecake, but wanted a pumpkin and spice flavor. I’ll keep looking!

Gloria November 4, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Looks delicious-I love fruit with cheesecake-any fruit topping will do for me. It satisfies some food groups: fruit, dairy, carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables (CORNstarch!)

Anna November 5, 2009 at 7:49 am

Juli, Chris from Cooking Dish wanted me to let you know he’s got a great pumpkin cheesecake for you to try. I will try to email you the link, but if I don’t happen to find your email, here’s the link.

Shannon (The Daily Balance) November 5, 2009 at 9:01 am

this looks amazing! love the strawberry topping ;)

Martha November 5, 2009 at 11:19 am

Anna, what a beautiful cheesecake! I’ve never heard of cornstarch in cheesecake – I wonder what purpose it serves? I never bake cheesecakes in a hot water bath – so what if they crack a little? My favorite flavor is my own concotion – Pina Colada.

Amanda November 5, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Looks fantastic! I don’t think I’ve heard of this one. I have a TNT cheesecake that looks similar, will have to check this one out. Thanks :)

Techie Momster November 15, 2009 at 11:01 am

I made this yesterday for a friend’s birthday party, and made the topping with frozen blueberries instead of strawberries, and it turned out great! I got lots of compliments from the guests, and especially from the birthday girl. I will sample a piece today, after it has been cooling overnight, so it should be better today.

Thanks for the great recipe.

Eveline September 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I have made this recipe since 1970. It is close to the one I would buy from the German bakery. There is nothing wrong with eating this for breakfast I think more healthy than sugary cereal.

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